No Belly Button After Hernia Repair? (photo)

I am 26 years old, have two children, the youngest is two years old, I had a hernia repair when I had a breast augmentation...The first attempt resulted in a scar above my navel, because the surgeon attempted to remove my belly button piercing scar. About a month and 1/2 ago another surgeon attempted to revise the scar from the first surgeon and now I am pretty concerned as to how it is healing. It looks as though I essentially have no belly button...what can I do??

Doctor Answers 11

No Belly Button After Hernia Repair

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These can be very difficult cases. When you have a large umbilical hernia it can obliterate your belly button appearance and even compromise the blood supply. When you have your hernia fixed it can compromise the blood supply to the belly button as well. It looks like you have enough skin. I would go see a plastic surgeon and see if they can open the incision and tack the belly button back down to your abdominal wall. It looks like that is all you need from what I can see in your photos.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

What do you mean - "no belly button"?

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Your belly button is plainly visible, not gone at all.  When you have needed hernia surgery and a scar revision, there may be some changes with the upper hooding but the belly button wasn't removed.

Belly button scars after tummy tuck

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Your abdominal contour is nice and flat, and your umbilicus (belly button) is in the right spot.  It is shallow and the scar is visible.  You might want to consider a scar revision designed to remove a donut of skin and scar. Closure with a tight pursestring will create a smaller diameter umbilicus with a thinner circumferential scar.


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You can have a minor procedure called an umbilicoplasty when you are better healed from your last surgery.  During this procedure, your belly button can be made deeper looking.  I really think this would give you the result you are hoping for.  Good luck!  K. Roxanne Grawe, MD Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Timing of an umbilical revision

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The umbilicus is nothing but a scar.  Your umbilicus is still visible but has not depth to it.  This can be improved by a minor surgical procedure but I would give you another 3 - 4 months to fully heal before proceeding with a revision.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Correcting a Belly Button Scar After Hernia

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From your photos, it appears that you have flattening from the undermining of the belly button to fix the hernia and scar. This is a challenging problem to fix and one that might be better left alone. Allow fo time for the tissues to settle, before looking at another surgical option. Consult with a board certified surgeon after 6 months to allow for complete healing. Best of luck, Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Loss of Umbilical Depth

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It appears that the depth of your belly button has gotten more shallow, probably because the attachment or stalk of the base of the belly buttoin has become partially disinserted. I would let it heal for 6 months and consider an umbilicoplasty revision if it does not change. It is fairly simple to have the belly button deepened again and look more natural.

Concerns about Appearance of Umbilicus after Hernia Prepare?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Your concern about the appearance of the umbilicus is understandable;  it seems that it is very shallow. At this point given your recent operations, I would not suggest any further surgery. Allow the tissues to “relax”;  revisionary surgery may be possible to create more of an “inny” appearance down the line.  I would suggest that you seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons  approximately 1 year down the line.

 Best wishes.

Shallow Belly Button after Hernia Repair

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    Although there are many ways to manipulate a belly button, including suturing it to underlying tissue to deepen it, you will probably need several maneuvers to make the belly button look more natural.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


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An umbilicoplasty may be the procedure for you.  You should give it 6 months or so to heal before undergoing the procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.